Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bias Tape Tutorial

A friend of mine expressed some frustration she was having while making some flower girl dresses and how the bias tape at the fabric store just wasn't the right color she was looking for.  She then decided to make her own!  HA!  I had never thought of that before, so I went to work attempting to figure it out.  Here's a tutorial if you're ever in need of "matching bias tape" and the fabric store doesn't have what you want.

Step 1:  You need to "square" your fabric so it can be cut on the bias.  To do that, just take one of your corners and fold the fabric down along the opposite edge to create a triangle (just like folding a rectangular piece of paper into a square).  Don't just cut strips off the rectangle, or it won't "stretch" like bias tape.

Step 2:  Using a rotary cutter and ruler, measure the strips for cutting.  I wanted the bias tape to be about 1/2" wide, so I cut my strips 2" wide to allow for the folds.

**Note**  The bottom, longest strip has a folded edge along the bottom, so just open the fold and cut it apart.
 Step 3:  Match up the slanted edges of your strips with the right sides together.  You'll want it to create a right angle so that once the angle is sewn, the fabric creates a longer strip.  Also, notice how my edges hang over a bit on each side?  That's to allow for the seam.
 Step 4:  Press open all slanted seams.  You'll also have to do some trimming of threads and seam allowances so the strip of fabric is even.
 Step 5:  Press the fabric in half.
 Step 6:  Open the pressed fabric and fold the edges ALMOST to the center, but not all the way.  This is a bit time consuming, but not difficult.  There are actually super-cool tools you can purchase to do this part for you.
 Step 7:  Re-press the tape along its center so the edges are now inside.
 Step 8:  Add to your project just as you would any other bias tape!


  1. Bias tape is so great! I recently bought a bias tape maker and it's pretty cool. You still have to cut and sew the strips but just pull it through the little thing and press as you pull it out. Then press it in half. If you want to try mine sometime when you're up you totally can. Or just grab one the next time you're at Joann's. They're less than $10 without a coupon.

  2. That is such a handy thing to know how to do! Thanks!

  3. Wouldn't a 2" strip make it 1/2" wide bias tape? I'm confused.

  4. @ Nicole--

    Ha! Yeah, apparently my fractions aren't awesome.


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